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Oakland at Texas

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Zito earns 100th career victory after flirting with no-no

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Of course Barry Zito was thinking about a no-hitter. And that was too bad for him.

"That's the worst thing you can do because you then start to try to protect it," he said.

The Oakland lefty took his no-hit bid into the eighth inning before Mark DeRosa led off with a single, and earned his 100th career victory as the Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Friday night.

"Kind of a spoiler at the end," Zito said. "It's kind of frustrating. Not so much about the no-hitter, but to give up runs late. But we had a good lead, and the team won."

DeRosa hit a clean single to center field on a fastball away that Zito left up a bit. Zito (14-8) was trying to pitch the majors' first no-hitter since Randy Johnson threw a perfect game for Arizona at Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

"Tonight was all about Zito. That's the best I've ever seen him," DeRosa said. "He threw strikes with all his pitches."

The Rangers dropped a season-high eight games behind the AL West-leading Athletics.

Zito left after giving up his second hit, Carlos Lee's two-run triple with one out in the ninth. Lee later scored on a groundout.

"It puts a little tarnish on it," said manager Ken Macha, still calling it one of the best games Zito has ever pitched.

Macha has been on Oakland's bench as a manager or coach for all of Zito's 216 major league starts (100-61) since 2000.

"Hands down, the best game Barry's pitched all year," Macha said. "That ranks pretty high."

The subject of trade rumors earlier this season, the 2002 Cy Young winner struck out two and walked two. He threw 69 of his 114 pitches for strikes.

Zito, the last of Oakland's Big 3 that included Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson, became the fourth Oakland pitcher with 100 victories, joining Catfish Hunter (131), Vida Blue (124) and Dave Stewart (119).

Zito improved to 17-4 lifetime against the Rangers, the most victories he's gotten against any opponent. That includes 11-1 on the road, and made up for his home start against the Rangers earlier this month when he allowed six runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 14-0 loss.

"I had a pretty bad game against them, I wanted to come out a different guy," Zito said.

DeRosa, who entered the game in a 4-for-31 slump, drew a one-out walk and stole second base in the second inning. That was the only time a Texas runner got past first base until the ninth.

After the walk, Zito retired the next 17 batters until DeRosa led off the eighth.

Rookie Edinson Volquez (1-3) allowed three runs and seven hits over four innings. The A's broke it open by scoring six times in the ninth, with Nick Swisher hitting a three-run double and Milton Bradley adding a two-run double.

The closest the Rangers came to a hit before DeRosa's was Michael Young leading off the seventh.

Young hit a slow roller that passed Zito coming off the mound. Second baseman Mark Ellis made a barehanded scoop and threw in one motion to beat Young by a step at first base.

"I don't remember him making any mistakes to me. He worked in and out and had command of all his pitches," Young said. "I was behind 0-1, 0-2 all night and always had to battle back. This was equal to as good as I've seen him. And he's had some good games against us."

Ellis had a leadoff double in the third inning and scored on Mark Kotsay's grounder. The Athletics made it 3-0 in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Ellis and an RBI single by Jason Kendall.

All-Star shortstop Young and rookie second baseman Ian Kinsler started three double plays for Texas. Young made a nice stab and relay in the second inning, and Kinsler duplicated the feat an inning later.

Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira made an over-the-shoulder catch of Frank Thomas' popup in foul territory with two on in the seventh.

Notes

  • Kendall has multiple hits in four straight games, and 10 of 13.
  • Lee hit his first triple since Aug. 10, 2003.
  • Only one of the three runs against Zito was earned because of his throwing error in the ninth inning. On Young's comebacker with one out, Zito's bad throw to second drew shortstop Marco Scutaro off the bag. Lee then tripled.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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 Barry Zito pitches 8 1/3 innings without allowing a hit. He finishes the night with two K's and the victory.  (AP)
Barry Zito pitches 8 1/3 innings without allowing a hit. He finishes the night with two K's and the victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

B. Zito
IP 8.1
H 2
ER 1
BB 2
K 2
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C5121001 .292
Mark Kotsay, CF4121103 .271
Milton Bradley, RF4112101 .270
Frank Thomas, DH4000103 .265
    Antonio Perez, PR-DH0100000 .091
Eric Chavez, 3B4220013 .244
Jay Payton, LF5230001 .295
Nick Swisher, 1B5023023 .251
Marco Scutaro, SS4000133 .237
Mark Ellis, 2B4121112 .228
Totals3991485720 
Batting
2B - Milton Bradley (10, Bauer), Nick Swisher (17, Wilson), Mark Ellis (14, Volquez)
RBI - Jason Kendall (35), Mark Kotsay (47), Milton Bradley 2 (38), Nick Swisher 3 (75), Mark Ellis (39)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kendall (12), Mark Ellis (11)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Barry Zito (1, )
Oakland Athletics
Barry Zito (W,14-8) 8.1231220 3.64
Chad Gaudin 0.2100000 2.77
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 114-69, Chad Gaudin 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 9-15, Chad Gaudin 2-0
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 30, Chad Gaudin 3
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF3100110 .305
Michael Young, SS4100000 .305
Carlos Lee, DH4112000 .294
Mark Teixeira, 1B4001000 .281
Mark DeRosa, RF3020100 .318
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000003 .298
Hank Blalock, 3B3000002 .286
Rod Barajas, C3000001 .258
Jerry Hairston Jr., LF3000010 .199
Totals31333226 
Batting
3B - Carlos Lee (1, Zito)
RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (93), Mark Teixeira (79)
SB - Mark DeRosa (4, 2nd base off Zito/Kendall)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Young-Kinsler-Teixeira, Kinsler-Young-Teixeira, Young-Kinsler-Teixeira
E - Michael Young (11, )
Texas Rangers
Edinson Volquez (L,1-3) 4733320 4.58
Josh Rupe 2.2200230 3.86
Ron Mahay 0.1000010 3.59
Rick Bauer 1.1343000 3.88
C.J. Wilson 0.2222010 4.19
HBP - Chavez (by C.J. Wilson)
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 91-57, Josh Rupe 39-24, Ron Mahay 6-3, Rick Bauer 31-23, C.J. Wilson 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 5-3, Josh Rupe 2-2, Rick Bauer 4-1
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 20, Josh Rupe 11, Ron Mahay 1, Rick Bauer 8, C.J. Wilson 5
Game Information
Attendance - 31178
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 99
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Larry Young, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez